Flexibility and kicking. Please help.


White Belt
Feb 8, 2002
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I've always been pathetically unflexible. I can't touch my toes without bending my knees, my splits form probably a 90 degree angle (180 degrees being right down) and I'm just generally unflexible. I really want to change this because, ultimately, I want to be able to kick head height. What can I do to change this? I've tried just stretching and it doesn't seem to help.

Any suggestions?
Have you tried searching the forum for threads on this topic? I know there at least a dozen threads on this subject.
Evil Eye Gouger has some good threads/posts on this. Search his profile for some info.
Do a google search as well. There are some good stretching routines on there.
Also remember that pure static stretching (ie the ability to do splits) does not correlate to being able to throw a good high kick. A lot of guys who can kick very high with good strength and speed cannot actually do splits. Before you start stretching, make sure you know what your goals are.
Thanks guys.

I'm going to spend a few hours reading through all that information tonight.

After I do that, if I came back with a stretching routine, would you guys be able to critique it before I get started? My goals will be mostly to increase kicking height, I'm left handed and can land left body kicks very well so I want to be able to throw left high kicks too. I also want to just be more flexible in general. Stretching in class is embarassing because I'm so unflexible.

With enough stretching and training, can almost anyone eventually do the splits and kick head height? I mean, I'm unflexible but not enough so that it effects everyday life, just unflexible enough that it effects martial arts training.
Read through the threads. What you want is a routine revolving around some type of isometric stretching 3x a week (more than that is overtraining); and dynamic stretches (dynamic leg raises) every morning and before every practice.

Pick some good isometric stretches for your hamstrings, hip flexors and adductors and do them every other day. You can ask here for more help once you're there. But you want your routine to consists of isometric stretches, in 2-5 sets per muscle group.

As for splits. Yes, theoretically almost everybody can do the splits with a proper stretching regimen. But it doesn't mean that it's easy. It takes dedication and hard work.